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Transparency at the White House

Series/Special. Whether President Obama has lived up to his promise of 'open government.' New.

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Us 6, United Nations 2, Dominion 2, Africa 2, Americas 1, Joel 1, Asia 1, Dominion Explication 1, The Sport 1, Brian Davis 1, Frederick Douglass 1, George Mason 1, Jenny Martinez 1, Logics 1, Paddles 1, India 1, Hierarchy 1, Sudan 1, Jenny 1, Brazil 1,
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  CSPAN    Transparency at the White House    Series/Special. Whether President Obama has  
   lived up to his promise of 'open government.' New.  

    December 9, 2012
    2:05 - 3:40am EST  

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of time. i have calculated the global tweeted average duration of servitude based on the different categories, because they are different. again, it speaks to the importance of doing data gathering. you can see for debt bondage, the durations are longer, for traffic victims, it is a little bit shorter. you extrapolate from aberrations -- these directions to find out how many people were in bondage. that is one way of going out -- going about it. another way is to multiply out and say, at a fixed point in time, we have this many slaves, and incorporating the number of people coming in and out, at any given time, in a period of time, you have this many. the number is that from your a two year be, at any given time, there were attacks number of slaves in the world. -- x number of slaves in the world.
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it is just different ways of doing math. >> thank you for that brilliant, moving, and site looking up a rigid keynote address. it is what this conference needed. you need not give any apologies for crunching the numbers. i know you are not apologizing. do not get depressed. we will solve all these questions in the next session. there is coffee upstairs. we will take a 10 minute break. we want you back here in 15 minutes. thank you very much. [applause] >> on like the ones to come that will be paddles, -- unlike the ones to come that will be panels, we will begin with a paper that we will make available. it should be on our web site.
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then two respondents. joel moved to south africa a year ago. he was a deputy director for the study of slavery and emancipation. at the opening conference, and i know brian davis is here today, he was there as well, david and i had the great privilege and for me a thrill to speak at that opening conference at the global affairs institute. at that conference, if none of you have been up to england, you
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should go. an extraordinary, victorian -- theyat has become have a wall of fame of abolitionists. each bus speakers had to represent one of those abolitionists. i was frederick douglass. at any rate, it was one of the thrills of my recent life. dole -- joel is the author of many books, including the anti- slavery project from the slave trade to human trafficking. he is co-editor of "slavery, identity, and memory."
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you do not sleep. "slavery, migration, and temper -- and contemporary bought it in africa." -- "slavery, migration, and contemporary slavery in my -- in africa." joel on the crucial questions of defining slavery. joel? [applause] >> i would like to start by taking this opportunity to thank you david and your team. having spent 26 hours on the planet, i have to say that any problems arising out of this presentation can be attributed to just lie -- jet lag. what i want to say, starting
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this presentation, this is a paper that was commissioned specifically for this conference. while i worked on the area of definitions in the past, i felt obliged to write something new. that is never a good idea. the paper is cracking at the seams. i hope it speaks and advances some of the issues and complications we heard in the previous keynote. before i get to the paper, i just want to say something about where i am coming from and where this fits in terms of broader research i have done. i have been working on a slavery for nearly 15 years. the primary motivating idea, the sport at the start was the idea that there were a lot of people talking about contemporary
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slavery. there are now a lot more people in the late 1990's. now we have a lot more people. there are a lot of people who talk about the history of slavery and abolition. when i was beginning my work, there was an expectation or assumption these things were separate and independent fields of study. you have the history of slavery on one hand and a contemporary slavery on the other. what i had been doing over the course of my research is trying to explore and interrogate the various ways in which these two can beof scholarship integrated. here in particular i have taken issue with the familiar but increasingly outmoded distinction between all slavery, by which we mean it transatlantic slavery, and new slavery, which is tied and
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assumed to be a distant phenomenon. i am trying to complicate and contest that particular viewpoint. i have tried to think about how the history of slavery can be used to inform and shape how we think about problems happening in our own time. i tried to think in particular of history as a strategic template that enables us to fight better and frame the language so we do not feel obligated to reinvent the wheel or not learned -- or try to learn from things that happened in the past. second, i have tried to push on a number of fronts the idea of the history of slavery, while it is nice to think about it as a template for inspiration and instruction, in many cases, it
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is much of cause for caution and complication. there are a number of issues and events and trajectories associated with the legal abolition of slavery in which its limitations are central and fundamental to what is happening in our own times. in this paper, i want to think about two things -- the first is, i want to think about how we can define and conceptualize slavery as a category, and in thinking about that, i am particularly interested in how we deal with this for a recurring ambiguity which arises at points of intersection between the slavery and what i want to describe as other forms of human bondage. the problem should be familiar to most of us. slavery has been legally abolished, yet we still have a
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bunch of problems that invite comparison to what we think about in terms of historical slavery. there is this impulse or instant that these are in some way related or connected or associated. at the same time, we have a lot of ambiguity surrounding this. in this presentation, i want to do a couple of things. the first thing i want to do is lay out a set of ideas and frameworks for how we might think about the problems associated with defining slavery and its relationship to things like debt bondage, human trafficking, child labor, and so on. i want to say, this is how we can begin to think about the interconnections between these things. second, i want to offer some tentative solutions for how i feel we should think about these things. if the framework for describing the problem and a series of ted solutions -- the framework for
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describing the problem and a series of texas solutions -- of tentative solutions. when i was doing my power point presentation today, i was acutely aware of everything i left out in my paper. there are some suggest -- some suggestions and working out the back story about the conclusions i want to present. some of it is hidden off stage. i invite you to press me on any issues i have not adequately covered. in thinking about slavery and human bondage, i want to suggest that there are three approaches that we need to think about when it comes to this issue. the first is strategic minimization, the idea that slavery can be restricted to an idea of true or genuine slavery.
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this idea of slavery should be held as separate and distinct from other categories. the second is what i call rhetorical inflation, the idea that slavery can be best employed as a strategic advice to draw attention to problems and agendas. third, we have legal clarification, which is my preferred response wherein we have slavery and it is untried -- enshrined, and instead of defining slavery rhetorically, we should appreciate that over time we now have a number of complementary and auxiliary devices and strategies which enable us to speak about and come back and i guess things that look a bit like slavery that we may not want to define as such. i want to take you coast --
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ticket through those three approaches briefly. in keeping with the type of work i do, i want to think briefly about how the historiography surrounding slavery and abolition could be used to better inform and shape how we might think about practices today. strategic minimization -- up here, i have included a quote from the league of nations, which was unofficial report produced in the 1930's in order to describe an excuse and minimize certain practices that were associated with residual slave systems in colonial africa, india, and parts of asia. i put it up. i will not read it. it is emblematic of a broader trend which elevates slavery to this distant and a separate rarefy category. it sits at the apex of a
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hierarchy, and anything that falls short of an extremist -- an extremely demanding rigorous standard, it becomes something other than slavery. in some of variants, we have a mild slavery, vestiges of slavery, slave-like practices. ever since slavery was abolished, and even prior to that, there has been this tendency to minimize and excuse certain problems that lot like slavery, but for various political reasons, people have tried to place in other categories. on the one hand, we had this minimalist conception of slavery, and it is not an objective -- it is tied up in agendas or orientations or assumptions that people make about what would be useful for slavery to look like. on the other hand, we have a rhetorical inflation --
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rhetorical inflation is a tendency to equate or associated a very wide range of practices and problem areas as forms of slavery. example i have used is a tendency in the united nations where by the last 40 years since the late 1970's, the united nations has been talking about the slavery-like populations of apartheid and colonialism. here we have an exercise in rhetoric. the collective suffering, dominion, and exploitation of our broader population with forms of individualized suffering and dominion. there is a tendency to expand the boundaries of slavery, partly as an exercise in drawing attention to various problem areas, and partly as a sense that the abolition of slavery
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does not mean very much. if we legally abolished something, and the things we thought we were combating, the things we were hoping to eradicate aptly persist under various other guises -- actually persist under various other guises. sometimes this works very well, sometimes it works very poorly. a problem that arises is that it has a tent -- is that it has a tap -- is that it has a tendency to model coherence. we have to go complications. -- to muddle coherence. we have to go complications. slavery becomes a form of political tyranny. slavery becomes all that is bad and problematic in this role. -- this world. we had a problem of knowing
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where slavery ends. as a consequence of this inflation, we are also promoting and encouraging skeptic -- skepticism surrounding whether anything in this world can it really be described in terms of slavery. rhetorical inflation creates conditions of skepticism. i want to suggest that neither of these options are particularly satisfying, but both of them have important logic, and both of these logics are not simply or exclusively strategic moves. they are rooted in how people approached the issue. the alternative that i want to talk about is this idea of legal codification. here i am looking at the 1926 sleeper convention, which we already heard about. -- slavery convention, which we
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already heard about. i think this definition is important because it goes beyond political rhetoric and pro -- and personal opinion. we have a definition of slavery that governments have endorsed and supported, and as a consequence, it creates a benchmark against which behavior can be legitimately addressed. i want to briefly unpack this. it is important to know that when this was negotiated, there was an impulse to expand the definition of slavery very broadly, but that in polls was constricted down to a relatively narrow -- but that impulse was constructed to an air -- to a relatively narrow benchmark. this applies to not simply a legal slavery, but it also applies to defacto lived
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conditions. it establishes a benchmark that is relatively rigorous in its application. i would point your attention to a series of guidelines. a number of people in this room helped to create them. they emerge out of a research network that brought together historians and activists and people working on contemporary issues with a view to clarify what slavery looks like for the purposes of prosecution in interim -- in international criminal tribunal is. it is designed as a guideline for prosecutors. the key element is that powers attaching it to right of ownership are not simply rights of ownership that are recognized in law, but are the functional equivalent to legal ownership in the event that such illegal status was even legal
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recognition. the example that is used here is that you cannot own a cocaine, because it is illegal, but in the event that you find it in your possession, you exercise a power attached to the right of ownership over it. on what basis do contemporary practical institutions sufficiently resemble the lived experience of the slave, and in historical terms, that we can legitimately classified them as slavery? we have a legal definition. i want to pretend it is perfect. it is an important starting point that we should use to begin a discussion about what slavery looks like. in addition, and i am going to do this very quickly, we also have overtime a broader series
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of benchmarks and obligations, which means in the present day, we have limited a reason to extend the slavery rhetorically by the fact that all the things that we might otherwise want to describe as slavery are codified and enshrined in various legal instruments. we have forced labor, we had debt bondage, we have a trafficking, and so on. in my previous work, i have suggested that this process of codification arises out of a series of reflections on the limitations of what has been previously accomplished. in the event that illegal abolition of slavery brought about certain consequential yet qualified improvements in how slaves lived, but in eight of itself, it was not sufficient. in my understanding of this, there is a bit of a dialectic at
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work where by reflections on the limitations of what was previously transpired or accomplished in turn provokes further mobilizations are around related and supplementary issues. we now have a situation where -- this applies in domestic law -- it is easier to talk about international law because its scope is much broader. we now have a series of definitions. we now have a series of standards and criteria and obligations that we can use to talk about what slavery looks like, and more importantly, we have a conversation which is not confined or exclusive to slavery as a separate and distinct and exceptional category. problems continue to rise in that while we had slavery alongside other practices, the point of intersection between slavery and these related
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issues still nonetheless poses a practical conceptual and legal problems. in order to think further -- in order to think further about this, i want to return to the history of slavery, and i want to think through some of the ways in which we conceptualize and draw upon these implicitly or explicitly series of historical benchmarks and apply them to contemporary practices. whenever we tried to define or conceptualize slavery-related practices, we are invariably falling back on the various forms of classification by way of historical comparison. here there is a hierarchy -- hierarchical set of assumptions at work. slavery sits at the apex of a series of a hierarchy whereby it constitutes a fundamental
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dominion explication. things that are placed on the hierarchy are elevated by that association or are tempted to be. or they are minimized by the difference, which is the approach in terms of strategic minimization. here once again efforts to describe and delineate slavery are never objective. there has been a strong tendency to minimize an excuse historical implicitly and involvement in enslavement throughout the world. and to insist as early as possible that things that look like slavery belong in some other category. in thinking about this, the iconography of the transatlantic slavery loans extremely large. i would suggest that while transatlantic slavery was a complicated, multifaceted,
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extremely diverse, and longstanding institution, in terms of how it feeds into debates of classification and conceptualization, it tends to be very simplified and stylized, whereby it slavery becomes ownership, slavery becomes extreme dominion and exploitation, and there is a series of ancillary associations with slavery being defined by rights, which is not always the case, slavery being defined in terms of economic exploitation, which is not always the case, slavery being defined as a separate and discrete category, which is not always the case elsewhere, and so on. in thinking about how we define and classify slavery, i want to suggest that this process of implicit comparison invariably ends up in an assessment of the relative similarity or severity
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on the basis of this inherited image we have of transatlantic slavery. here slavery functions as a separate and stratified category. it is separate and distinct from other forms of human bondage. it is ratified in that it stands apart from and above other problems and practices. this is an approach that has a popular purchase or conscious, but it is also something that scholars feel defined and developed in various ways. the obvious example is "slavery and social that." -- "slavery and social debt."
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on the other hand, we have alternative historiography and an alternative set of starting points that move beyond transatlantic slavery and instead try to complicate the historical story we tell by thinking about what slavery looked like in other parts of the world. this debate is by no means settled or definitive, but on one side, we have this idea that however much we may want to separate or extract out slavery, when you actually look at historical practices, legal practices, you instead find complicated forms of intersection and overlap with other forms of human bondage. in one version of this argument, the stronger version of this argument goes that the slavery that europeans abolished as a function of colonialism was actually a category of their own invention,
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which betrayed their own ignorance of how other practices in other parts of the world actually operated. i want to suggest here that a blended together approach, an approach that says that things can be both slavery and something else, is actually consistent with how slavery is operated as a long-term historic category. the definition and dilemmas and complications we have arising out of issues today actually stem out of a broad historic genealogy rather than being distinctive and fundamental and different to our moment in time. i want to suggest that blending together is a recurring dilemma. i want to suggest that it has a particular purchase in how we think about illegal he abolition of slavery. there's a tendency that i think has done a great disservice to
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how we think about slavery to treat the abolition of slavery as a historical and point, a marker in a conversation that marks the end of the story in which the pushed that follows -- the postscript that follows is only three pages long. in keeping with the broader tenor of my work, i kind of a direct your attention to a series of patents associated with legal abolition that occur outside the americas. when we limit our historical horizons to transatlantic slavery, we have a narrative that finishes in 1888 in brazil and then picks up with globalization and -- in the early 1990's. i would instead suggest that you understand little abolition as a broader global process, you are instead in countering a number of publications. the little abolition of slavery in most parts of the world are
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bound up and deeply implicated in processes of colonization and imperialism that we have a hard time connecting and associating with an abolition of something that is universally regarded as one of humanity's great accomplishments. we have a complicated story once we start talking about the abolition in other parts of the world. more important for my purposes today, we also have a story that is bound up in complicated forms of transformation and reconfiguration whereby legal abolition rarely marks the definitive end to the story. i cannot do this argument justice, but -- but what i would say is that wherever slavery was abolished, you have invariably a situation where the formal change in institutional status only weakly corresponded with changes in lived experience.
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in all of these cases, and we have obviously variations between countries and time periods, we have slave-like relationships persisting decades after slavery was formally abolished. we have a widespread recourse of the debt on it to retain the productive capacity that slaves formally -- formerly offered to society. we have a widespread movement to reconfigure slave relationships with married relationships. county by relationships -- concubine relationships to create different categories. we have a situation where the intersection between slavery as an institution and other forms of institutional arrangement is
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a fundamental to the limitations of what wasn't done historically. in thinking -- in thinking about this, i suggest that the intersection of human slavery and bondage was first a long- term strategy, and second, this idea of slavery, this idea of something that is separate and stratified actually does not hold up historically in a number of different cases. consequently, whatever apprehensions we may have about extending the boundaries of slavery beyond its institutional roots, beyond its formal status , while there is a trade-off to whatever position you take, i would still suggest that in thinking about slavery today in the absence of legal recognition, we need to take into account the institutional arrangements, but institutional arrangements should not be
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determinative in it of themselves. in thinking about the fact of slavery, thinking about slavery as a set of lived experiences, it actually invites us to view this intersection between slavery and other categories as fundamental to a series of interruptions and responses to legal abolition. the second point i would want to say is that however much we may be tempted for political reasons, for legal reasons to describe other categories has slavery in their entirety -- all forms of forced labor become slippery, all forms of debt bondage become slavery, all forms of various problems become slavery, that move is an overstatement about how far we might want to think about slavery. legal codification and the existence of all the resources and obligations means that we
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can talk about slavery and we can treat a subset of other cases and practices as slavery and deep -- and be confident in making that assessment. we should nonetheless not apply slavery indiscriminately and broadly as such that it swallows categories in their entirety. here i would suggest that a blended together approach requires a frame of reference or analysis that takes slavery as an isolated category and relate it consistently, automatically, as a matter of a thought, to a variety of other problems and practices. modern anti-slavery did not begin and end with slavery. i appreciate this is a conclusion that many of you come to already. it extends more broadly into a larger portfolio. here i would suggest that there
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are certain dangers associated with setting slavery up as a separate and stratify category, because as setting slavery up as a thing that sets up at the apex of the pyramid, there has been a recurring tendency to implicitly normalize or legitimize everything that falls short of that standard. in talking about slavery as a separate and distinct, we can indirectly and up saying that there are a whole bunch of other problems in the world that fall short of the standard and therefore are less significant. a broader frame of reference codifies slavery as a thing that sets apart. it places slavery alongside human bondage, alongside poverty, inequality, structural injustice, and so on. that last point is incredibly suggested. i am very short on time.
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thank you. [applause] >> thank you. i know it isn't really debatable, and we will, but i would add an exclamation to your slow death serious. those of us that study memory, that is our subject. you cannot even mention the surf bum -- serfdom and how quickly that cannot go away. we'll have to go responses and analyses of his talk. two very distinguished scholars, jenny martinez -- just for time's sake -- she is a professor of law and a professor at the stanford law
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school. she is an expert on all sorts of issues, especially international courts and tribunals, the whole field of international human rights, security, constitutional law, and the law of war. research focuses on the role of courts and tribunals in advancing human rights. she has worked a great deal on what she describes as the all but forgotten 19th century international tribunals which were involved in the suppression of the atlantic slave trade. she is here in great part because she got the attention of many bus with her current book published in early 2012, entitled "the slave trade and the origins of international human rights law." she has written numerous articles on this subject. jenny will go first.
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our second responded is a police shelley, who is a university professor and director of the terrorism and transnational crime and corruption center at the school of public policy at george mason university. she is the author of -- it is amazing how recent all these books are -- anyway, her recent book entitled "human trafficking:a global perspective ago it was published in 2010. she is also co editor of the three other works, one entitled "human security, transnational crime, and human trafficking," another is entitled "human traffic and transnational crime ,."
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she is a scholar. these will be our two distinguished respondents. jenny, would you like to go first? [applause] >> will stay here. -- i will stay here. thank you, david, for inviting me here. remarks were so sensible and thoughtful. it is hard to disagree with them. i will not even try to do that. i think i very much agree with his suggestion that as compared to the alternative of the restrictive approach in which we try to define slavery in the most narrow of ways or the rhetorical inflation where paying taxes is a form of slavery, these are unattractive alternatives, and instead, taking a more nuanced approach
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where we consider slavery in the context of other practices that are related to it without creating the hierarchy but instead focused on the interrelated ness and indebtedness of all the different practices with one another is one that i think the current international legal regime does do. in the way that legal instruments like certain protocols or the definition of slavery in the statute of the international criminal court and the elements of crime, as well as the inclusion of other things in the international criminal court statute, including explicitly sexual slavery or enforced prostitution, and separately, the elimination of crimes against humanity. that is a trend in the way that international law and international -- are looking at the issue. i cannot disagree --
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international regimes are looking at the issue. i cannot disagree. instead, what i will do is talk about why it seems so important for us to define a slavery. i will suggest that in asking what is the definition of slavery we should also be asking ourselves, for what purpose are we trying to define it? why are we so concerned with this definition? to what degree are we to be sensitive to the context? lawyers love nothing more than a debate about definitions. we can argue for days. i would suggest that legal proceedings are not the only realm in which we're talking about. and talk about some of the reasons or context and -- in which we might try to define the term of slavery, and why we might be more or less concerned about the procedural contours of
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the definition. one reason why we might want to define the term is for academic purposes. for those of us who are researchers, depending on our particular fields, whether it be history, social scientists, sociology, economists, philosophers, lawyers, in terms of academic study, it is quite important to define the terms of what you are examining in order that others may accurately evaluate your result. one of the things that one might say is that if one is trying to measure this morning's keynote, the quality of slavery, it is quite important to define what you're talking about so that other researchers can examine your measures, can the second -- double check the quantities you determined, and in that regard,
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i think the statistics we saw this morning are quite helpful. there were broken down by category so that one could unpack. if one this agrees, and says, i think that the boundaries of the consent or coercion are different, and i do not count short-term, seasonal debt bondage, then you know how that has been counted, and you can see but other categories are there. similarly, for people who might be looking at the causes of contemporary practices, unpacking those probably requires a minor degree of granular be. forced marriages are probably quite a difference -- quite different in terms of their social and economic origins that child labor, a building, weaving rugs, or the use of forced labor during armed conflict. attentiveness to the context may be quite important for our
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academic study. focusing simply on this overarching question of, is it slavery, or is it not, they obscure some of the differences that may be important to academic study. at the same time, i think that there is room in academic study to consider some of the important social questions and the philosophical contest -- contacts when looking at consent and economic choice from the perspective of humanities and what does it mean for somebody to consent to an arrangement. for academic study, while it is interesting to talk about the definition of slavery, it may be more useful for us to drill down to consider some nuances. a second context in which the
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definition might be potentially important would-be legal proceedings. as a lawyer, i would say that having a definition is more important in that realm. when you go into the courtroom and you try to convince the defendants of a particular offense, or you need a definition, you can expect that whoever is on the other side of a legal proceeding will push back at any definition, will search for any loopholes that might come up with. the do you think that our current legal documents, whether it be treaties from the 1926 treaty, to the 1956 additional provisions that the international criminal court provided, there are contours' to the international definitions of enslavement, supplemented by the very helpful blog gl guidelines
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-- bellagio guidelines. i think it is important not to place slavery as a pinnacle of a hierarchy but instead to consider it in the context of other things. first, because the bad guys always find a loophole. however closely you try to define one particular concept, if you do that, you're leaving open the other categories for bad behavior. even more than that, because it may reduce the legal tools that we have available to us to address the problem. for example, in terms of looking at legal remedies for the contemporary issue of slavery- related practices, we might look at international proceedings, domestic proceedings, criminal
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proceedings, civil proceedings, but we also can look at other areas of law that provide useful tools. in talking about -- we might have a specific prohibitions on practices more questionable, like a dead bondage or other things -- and might look at other areas of law that are "-- that are closely related, like labor rights, which is the flip side of the practice of enslavement or forced labor, workers have rights too particular wages or particular working conditions, or the payment at regular intervals, and in many ways, one of the remedies or potential remedies for labor problems today is looking at the affirmative provision of laborites of the two workers, whether individually or through protective laws or through some sort of collective process, which is why organizations like the international labor organization are so attuned to these issues.
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other human rights issues broadly speaking within the framework of human rights law -- anti-discrimination, one of the big things we heard about in this morning's program is the degree to which these practices are tied to discrimination against women and ethnic groups. attention to that component of law is also important, as well as other civil and political rights. the ability of individuals to exercise rights and political -- rights of political participation, boating, speech, access to education on an equal basis, are important to getting at some of the underlying problems that create the conditions that we heard in this morning's program. the legal realm is another area
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in which it is important in some context, you are bringing a case, whether in a domestic court or an international forum, related to cyber, you want to know -- you want to know the definition, but i think focusing on it too much distracts us from other potential things. finally, another area in which a lot of the debate revulsed is in the area of act as a critic in activism -- is in the area of activism. whether rhetorically exaggerating the definition of slavery or minimizing the definition of slavery -- in many ways, it is quite right amiss -- in many ways, it is quite reminiscent of the term genocide.
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just as the trans-atlantic slave trade farm the image of slavery, the holocaust is the image that comes to the average person's mind in relationship to the word genocide. darfur, sudan, the question arises, is it genocide? does it meet the terms of genocide as a legal matter? do we lose something by not causing -- by not calling it genocide? it has been argued by some at the powers that the word was avoided by longtime by powerful countries because they did not want to incur an obligation to intervene in cases of genocide. there has also been the argument that the use of the word genocide can cover too many situations. there is some interesting writing on this by judges, seeing that there is not a hierarchy of crime. genocide, while it might be the
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crime of crimes, in fact, crimes against humanity, things like that can be as bad or worse. it is illegal category -- a legal category. having that said, i think it is inevitable that people are drawn to and concern about this debate. i think there is room for academic research. i think we have relatively little empirical knowledge about how important these words actually are. do people react differently when you talk about slavery versus trafficking? i am sure that there are pulling groups -- polling groups -- who is pulling -- polling this >? ? how can this message to be better conveyed? clearly there is rhetorical important in defining slavery.
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there is room for research on the question of how important it is to determine, are there other ways -- how does the kremlin of this defect -- the framing of this affect others? whether it be potential victims who may be in danger of being trafficked, and may not have other alternatives, but may be informed, to a least some degree, about how to choose among the options given to them with fuller awareness of the consequences that may result. encouraging community norms to change.
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foster and community organizations, providing relief to victims in ways out of situations. in all those contexts, it may be different in different parts of the world. i think we need greater awareness of the ways in which we use language, how that might resonate in different situations. i think the blended together approach of seeing slavery as connected to a variety of other practices, not in a hierarchy, but in a much more fluid way is quite sensible, and in applying whatever legal definitions we have, we ought to be sensitive to the context in which we are operating. with that, i will turn it over to you. [applause] >> thank you. it is a delight to be here with such a great audience. i come at this with a little bit
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of a difference -- different perspective because i am trained on issues of crime. as was mentioned just now, we are now defining human trafficking under the protocol against transnational crime. there was constant -- there was controversy about whether this law against him and trafficking should be placed, but now that it is there, there are things that defining it in this way make an important difference. i want talk to you today about defining the phenomenon of slavery and how it is different as analysts it phenomenon and what that means in studying, defining, and reacting to it. let me start off with a case, because i believe that one needs to look at cases, and not just look at working with ngo's.
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in the netherlands, they define -- they have legalized prostitution. illegalized holding brothels. with that -- they legalized holding brothels. there are problems with this that go to the very definition of slave labor. the prosecutors in the mother -- in the netherlands found a large network of human traffickers. if you estimate the cost of what they may have profited from the 20 years before they broke this ring, weird talk -- we're talking close to about $0.5 billion. that is on the level of what you
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find in the drug trade. as they found the women and wanted them to testify and free them from this slavery, in one case, the traffickers went to the home of one of the people who had been identified as a possible witness and burned down her home, her family's home in the czech republic. there is a very important part to be understood from this, of how transnational, illicit criminal networks operate.
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